Location of Tonga Archipelago
World Factbook: Tonga – unique among Pacific nations – never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900. it withdrew from the protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "Tonga has a small, open, South Pacific island economy. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand."
Economic growth rate
2009: minus 0,3%
Labor force in agriculture
Squash, fish, vanilla beans and root crops.
2006: $22 miliion, imports $139 mllion. (World Factbook 2012: The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit.)
2009: 6.2% of GDP
Living in an urban area:
Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 17.9 persons per 1,000 population per year (1,900 people).
Density for 2005: 156.5 per square kilometer.
Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2003: males 98.4 percent, females 98.7 percent
Polynesian. About 300 Europeans.
Christian – largely Free Wesleyan
More than 150 islands, south of Samoa and East of Fiji. The largest island, Tongatapu, is equivalent to 16 by 16 kilometers or 10 by 10 miles.
A hereditary constitutional monarchy. Its legal system is based on English law.
Parliament has thirty members, 21 of whom perpetually remain hereditary noblemen.
Became a British protectorate in 1900. Acquired its independence in 1970 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
December 14, 2004: In the week ahead, a platoon of the Royal Tongan Marines who have been serving in Iraq will return to Tonga. Forty-five men, all volunteers went to Iraq in July for a six-month tour of duty and served alongside U.S. Marines.
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